Saturday night, the Sturgis boys' basketball team was doing its best Golden State Warriors impression.
Like the Warriors ability to hit the long ball, the Scoopers hit 17 3-pointers to stay undefeated in a 77-42 rout of Custer Saturday night in Sturgis.
"Last year their zone gave us a lot of trouble, so in the past couple of days we've worked on ball movement and using pump fakes to move the zone," Sturgis coach Colin McCampbell said. "We've had double digit 3s in all of our games but one this year, so obviously we were hoping to shoot the ball well tonight. You're going to win a lot of games when you make 17 3s."
Custer coach Paul Kelley was not one to argue after his team fell to 2-7 on the season.
"I told our kids (17 3-pointers) would be a record at our school, and we've had some pretty good teams," he said. "It's not just one guy, they spread it around so much that it makes them tough."
Sturgis did share the wealth, as Dawson Geuke and Connor Crane led the game in scoring with 21 points each, while Ryan Garland also contributed 17.
Sturgis got out to a good start, controlling the first quarter and ending it with a 16-7 lead.
The second quarter was when Custer started to make Sturgis nervous. The Wildcats stayed with the Scoopers, only trailing 34-25 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Sturgis put its mark on its fifth win of the season by starting the half on a 10-0 run.
In all, Custer only scored 17 points in the second half.
"I was happy with that," McCampbell said. "We needed to start taking away the middle drives more. Credit to our kids, (Custer) has some really good players and they made some shots too."
One of those players was Nolan Patzlaff, who led Custer with 14 points and earned praise from his coach after the game.
"We're trying to get our guys to play hard for 32 minutes, and we haven't done that yet, but we had some good individual performances," Kelley said. "Nolan Patzlaff played hard throughout the whole ballgame and kind of carried us."
Sturgis outscored Custer 24-11 in the third quarter and 19-6 in the fourth quarter. McCampbell began to empty his bench with 3:28 left in the game.
McCampbell said the 5-0 Scoopers hardest tests of the season are coming up, so he isn't planning a parade yet.
"I have no idea what anyone thinks about us. My opinion is we're worried about us being in a position where at the end of the year we can reach our goals," he said. "It's early, there's a lot of tests coming up so we're not getting ahead of ourselves either.
"We’re happy whenever we get a win, but you know what? It’s on to the next one and we’re just trying to get better every day."
Sturgis will next face Hill City (3-4) Tuesday at home starting at 7 p.m. Custer will look to rebound against Lead-Deadwood (3-4) on the road Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Sturgis girls bounce back with strong win
Sturgis girls' coach Jordan Proefrock admitted that Friday night's 55-51 loss to Douglas was painful, so she was pleased to see her team bounce back at home Saturday for a commanding 58-49 win.
"We came off a really disappointing loss to Douglas; we thought we should have had that one and we did not play well under pressure towards the end," she said. "Coming into the Custer game, who we knew were good and who beat us last year, we knew we had to protect that basketball. We knew we had to rebound.
"We knew they'd play hard for four quarters, but the girls came in with a chip on their shoulder and took care of business."
At the start of the game, it looked like the full-court pressure from Sturgis might be too much for the Custer offense. It took four minutes for the Wildcats to record a field goal and Sturgis raced out to a 14-1 lead.
After the first field goal from Kenzie Hetley fell for Custer, the Lady Wildcats showed they were more than capable of breaking the press and was able to hang around.
Hetley finished with 15 points.
Sturgis led 20-10 after the first quarter and went into the locker room with a 39-23 halftime lead. Custer trailed 48-32 heading into the fourth, but continued to play hard and was able to make a run to cut the lead to single digits. But it was too little, too late.
Tori Glazier led the Wildcats with 17 points and became the all-time leading scorer in Custer girls basketball history, needing only one point to pass her head coach, Stephanie Ornelas, on the all-time list.
Ornelas said that it was her team's inability to rebound that cost the Wildcats the game on a special night for Glazier.
"When you let the other team shoot three, maybe even two times they're going to make one of those shots," she said.
Ornelas also pointed to her offense as a reason Custer is now 5-5.
"We didn't execute our offense like we should have," she said. "We just tried to force some things that weren't there."
Sturgis was propelled offensively by Brooklyn Janz and Olivia Jolley. Janz had 20 points while Jolley had 19. Loralee Stock also had 11 points.
Proefrock said she's happy she has three scorers who she can go to, but pointed to Eden Lambert, Donni Bruch and Sierra Fischer as other players who have contributed all season for the Scoopers.
"I've been proud of how our other scorers have stepped up and contributed," she said. "Last year, we didn't have that, but this year we have players coming off the bench and a lot more players contributing."
Sturgis (3-3) will face 4-1 Rapid City Central Thursday on the road at 6:30 p.m. the game kicks off a tough four-game stretch that also features games against Rapid City Stevens, Pierre and Spearfish.
Custer is next in action Tuesday when it faces the undefeated and No. 1 ranked St. Thomas More at 6 p.m.